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Personal Experience - Stefanie

International adventures: from Sheffield to Oslo 

Stefanie, bachelor student in Biology, became inspired from the Science honours programme to apply for an exchange with the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. She is currently busy finishing her minor in Biomedical Sciences in this English city and is looking forward to her next international adventure in Oslo, Norway.

For Stefanie, the two-year Science honors program began by writing an interdisciplinary research proposal together with four other colleague students from different natural science disciplines. Stefanie explains, "Our research proposal was about bacteria that are able to grow electrically conducting nanowires, which has applications in simultaneously processing wastewater and generating electricity."

To improve their research proposal, the group discussed it with researchers from several foreign universities. Stefanie says, "We had video conversations with researchers from the University of Copenhagen to researchers from Yale University. Most of the researchers were enthusiastic about our project."

The international contact with different researchers triggered Stefanie to apply for an exchange with the University of Sheffield. She could plan the second year of her honours programme herself, which made this exchange possible. The exchange was even encouraged by her coordinator. Stefanie talks about her experience in England, "Exchange students are very open and eager to engage in conversation with you. I am surrounded by different cultures here and I learn something new from that every day."

A key difference from the education at Radboud University, according to Stefanie, is that in Sheffield there are way fewer contact hours. Much more self-study and responsibility are expected of you. Stefanie says, "The style of teaching was new to me, but the professors are all friendly, approachable and helpful”. In addition to the knowledge Stefanie gained from the various biomedical courses and projects she took, her English has also improved.

Stefanie learned a lot during her exchange, both content and culture related. She says, “You learn how to adapt to a large variety of cultures which is of great importance in a globalizing society. It makes you more open minded on an individual level. I truly believe that this translates to the quality of the work in your field, whatever field that may be.”

Now that her current exchange is almost over, Stefanie is looking forward to her next adventure: her internship and bachelor's thesis at the University of Oslo.